This was the issue that was on the streets when the massacre was committed. An issue which ridiculed a writer whose latest work fueled the anti Muslim racism latent in French society. Many of the well known political figures publicly mourning and sancrosanctly making speeches about the death of freedom hated Charlie Hebdo because they were often targets of the blistering satire.
Charlie Hebdo was great because they respected no one. All religions were a target. In my last post I linked to a post I did in 2011 that gave a history of the paper after the bombing of their office, but the real root of the enablers of this crime started their work back in 2006. It was the cowardice of many sundry politicians back in 2006 when Charlie Hebdo republished the "blasphemous" Danish satirical islamic cartoon images.
French President Jacques Chirac described the move as a “provocation“.
[Germany's] Angela Merkel, hedging her bets, made a lame and half-hearted defense of freedom of speech which she implied had to be balanced against the need to show respect to Muslims: “We need to learn to show mutual respect for each others’ views and feelings as well as to develop our shared values.”
Jack Straw, [the U.K's] Foreign Secretary at the time, denounced newspapers that had shown some genuine solidarity in the cause of free speech by saying: “I believe the republication of these cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful, and it has been wrong.”
A few years ago, when Charlie Hebdo was about to publish a cartoon cover featuring Mohammad being pushed along in a wheelchair by an Orthodox Jew, the French government asked the staff to stand down.
The French government … appealed to the editors not to go ahead with publication, and when they went ahead anyway it shut down embassies, cultural centres and schools in 20 countries out of fear of reprisals.
The UK website, The Commentator wrote yesterday:
Which part of this message are we expecting the Islamists not to get? … So called “radicalized” Muslims do not need to go to Syria to believe they have a right to kill people in the name of their religion, as we have seen with many other terror attacks in recent years. They believe they are attacking soft and weak targets in the West because all too often (just re-read those quotations above) we have shown that we have turned ourselves into soft and weak targets.
Twelve Parisians went to work yesterday morning, expecting it to be a normal day with coffee and camaraderie and laughter and deadlines. Those people are now dead for making jokes, their families uncomprehending and devastated, and much of the European continent is in tears, on edge, or both.
Meanwhile, Western media continue to literally obscure the facts
Even after today’s events, many Western broadcasters and publishers continue to pixilate or blur out the Charlie Hebdo images — not the images of slaughter in Paris streets, but mere cartoon images of men in Middle Eastern garb.What do you want to bet that from now on, consistently and with an actual spine, politicians and civic leaders and media barons will call Islamist terrorism by its name? Or that they will defend – truly stand tall for – the right of all citizens to say, write, draw, and publish any religious joke at all? What is totally predictable is the way that authoritarian fascists on both sides will try to use this incident as a manipulative way to control you and strip you of your freedom of expression with their paranoid rants.
Fundamental Islamists, Jews and so called Christians are a cancer. We do not owe them politeness and respect and sensitivity, just as we owe none of those things to any malignant cells in our own bodies. Summoning courage and ruthlessness and precision, we cut them out and survive… or we let them fester, with fatal consequences.
What we do owe, aside from a debt of lifelong gratitude to Charlie Hebdo and its horrifically decimated staff, is the determination to never let the magazine’s spirit of playful insolence be silenced by assholes with guns and bombs.